SharePoint Fest... The name says it all

By Dave Martin posted 10-18-2010 13:23


I was fortunate enough to both attend and present at SharePoint Fest in Denver a few weeks back.  Not surprisingly, the event was totally sold out and almost entirely populated with IT folks trying to figure out how they can leverage SharePoint within their unique environments.  It was a great show by the way. It will be returning to Denver next year in May as a two day affair – this year was just a single day, but you could tell filling an extra day would be no problem. Apparently SharePoint is popular.

One thing that really stuck out to me was that the people here really knew their stuff and they weren’t really interested in learning about SharePoint per se, rather they were focused on figuring out how to make it better through third-party solutions.  This was ideal because there were more than 30 vendors present, all flogging their value-adding wares.

In my 12 straight hours at this show I got to talk to a lot of people and ask a lot of questions. Therefore, this post will be all about the responses I got to the questions I asked mixed in with some additional observations I made.

Question 1: Are you running SharePoint 2010?

Not one person I asked was running SharePoint 2010 in production across their organization.  With this being said, almost everyone was running a test server/environment of it and asking all the vendors if and when they would be supporting SharePoint 2010 with their solutions so they could start testing them.

The responses to this question were not particularly surprising but also relatively relieving.  Reality is, SharePoint 2010 hasn’t been out all that long and outside of Microsoft’s promotional customer examples we were fortunate enough to see at the keynote, it appears very few (who aren’t receiving direct help from Microsoft) are going live with 2010 yet.  Of course you shouldn’t just take my word for it, check out this recent survey outlined in Channel Insider magazine that states only 8% of organizations have actually deployed 2010.

So now to the relieving part:  It would appear that people are being smart about their forth coming migrations to 2010.  There are many organizations testing SharePoint 2010 and seeing where it needs to be enhanced and extended through third-party solutions. This of course, is much better than deploying a solution before you’ve figured out how it will fit into you broader information infrastructure.

Question 2: Are you thinking about moving your file share content into SharePoint as you migrate to 2010?

This question I really asked for myself.  As I mentioned in my last post, I’m somewhat obsessed with volumes of information.  Although my survey respondent size was quite small, everyone I asked stated they would indeed be moving their file share content into SharePoint as they migrated to 2010.  In fact, a number of these respondents were looking to migrate content from other information systems into SharePoint as well.  On top of this, many had physical content they were looking to digitize and import into SharePoint.

The responses to this question got me pretty excited because the theory of SharePoint being a primary catalyst for information growth was starting to move from supported theory to fact.

Question 3: Are you concerned about information growth?

The response I got to this question was mostly furrowed brows and a look of “Well what do you think?” Suffice to say folks were worried about information growth and wanted to understand how they could better manage massive volumes of content – especially considering what they were planning to do with file shares.

In terms of information growth and the remediation of it, there were a few vendors discussing the benefits of storage management or externalization of SharePoint content, as well as archival for operational benefits, neither of which are new ideas.  Something I did note (and thought was a little surprising if not distressing) was that organizations were just now starting to think about what they should be doing as the inevitable issues that will arise from dumping terabytes of data into SharePoint come closer in view.

If you managed to be in Denver for SharePoint Fest I’d be interested in what you got out of this event, or comments around anything interesting you heard or observed.

#externalization #sharepoint #SharePointgovernance #SharePointarchival #SharePoint #storagemanagement